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Briny mussels, earthy saffron, and luxurious cream to mellow them out. Serve with plenty of crusty bread to sop up the sauce, or serve over pearl (Israeli) couscous. Time does not include the hour-long soak. Adapted from a recipe by Kerry Saretsky at Serious Eats. http://bit.ly/eDMMMR
- Put the mussels in a large bowl full of water with a large handful of ice and 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour. Allow to mussels to sit in the liquid for 1 hour to disgorge any sand. Lift mussels out of bowl, leaving flour and sand behind. Scrub and debeard mussels. Discard any which are open and do not close when thumped on the counter.
- In a wide braising pan with high sides, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the shallots and sauté, stirring often, until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the stock (or wine or water, as you choose) and the saffron. Add mussels and tomatoes to the pot. Season with salt and pepper. Cover the pot, raise the heat to medium-high, and cook until all the mussels are wide open, 5 to 7 minutes. Discard any which fail to open.
- Take the pot off the heat, and stir in the cream. Serve.